Distinguished Alumnus:
Patricia Bragdon '93
BA, Social Work

Patricia Bragdon earned her B.A. in Social Work from WestConn in 1993 graduating Magna Cume Laude. She was a non-traditional age, married mother of three children in public school, who returned to higher education following recovery from cancer. She established a social service agency known as “Ann’s Place, the home of I CAN,” in 1991 with several health/mental health care providers to address unmet social service needs of cancer survivors in the Western Region of Connecticut. Bragdon soon recognized that she needed formal credentials and more specific knowledge to be effective as a direct care volunteer and advocate. It was then that she returned to college, to complete that goal while she was well.

Bragdon’s professional career choice of social work was logical, and it provided the skills and knowledge base she needed, including understanding how to separate the personal from the professional. Her first internship was with a social service oversight organization, which provided knowledge about structure, funding and staffing needs. For her senior college year, Bragdon asked for another setting different from the health care field, to which she continued to devote volunteer energies.

Bragdon was inducted into the National Social Work High Alpha Honor Society at the end of her junior college year. She was then admitted to Columbia University’s School of Social Work in its advanced standing program, from which she graduated in one year with an MSW degree. Majoring in programming and supervision, she chose children and families as her field, and became a school social worker, first in Danbury, and now in the nearby Katonah-Lewisboro School District. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Clinical Doctoral Program at New York University’s School of Social Work, with her dissertation topic on grief in adolescents as secondary victims. Her studies on health recovery issues and adolescent reactions and needs following loss and grief show how her learning paths have converged.

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